Financial Literacy Month: Helping your employees be prepped for unexpected expenses

Posted by: Adam Legge on November 14, 2016

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada. Throughout November, organizations across the country are hosting events and campaigns to help Canadians of all ages learn how to manage their personal finances successfully by understanding how to manage debt wisely, saving for the future and understanding their rights and responsibilities. 

Financial literacy is important for the financial well-being of individuals, but also to the economy as a whole. When our citizens are financially-literate it can contribute to the economic environment that helps all businesses succeed. This is why the Chamber is proud to be a supporter of Financial Literacy Month. 

This year, one of the key focus areas is on educating citizens about the options that are available to them with respect to loans and financing. As business owners and leaders, we can help our employees to become more financially stable - this is good for everyone.  

Especially with the current economic downturn, many Albertans are finding it increasingly difficult to cover their costs. Research shows that 60% of Albertans are within $200 of not being able to cover their expenses each month. This means that, even for working Albertans, an unexpected expense like a parking ticket, an unexpected house repair, a car breaking down or owing on your taxes can be a real challenge. 

The reality is that as a result, far too many of our employees turn to high-fee check-cashing and payday loans services, believing that these are their only options. It is for this reason that the Calgary Chamber has partnered up with other local businesses and organizations on the Unexpected Expenses campaign. 

The Unexpected Expenses campaign is about getting Albertans talking about financing and loan options for individuals and families. The truth is that many better options exist for our employees than payday loans, that can often charge hundreds of percent of annualized interest. For example, your fellow Chamber member, First Calgary Financial, has launched the Cash Crunch Loan which has a significantly lower interest rate, and is meant for when times are tough. Other great financial institutions are looking to offer similar products. 

Knowledge is power, and understanding the choices out there helps people avoid ending up in high-interest money trap loans. Consider speaking to your employees this month about the options available to them, such as lines of credit, overdraft protection, speaking to family, or if your business is set up to do so, you may consider allowing your employees to take payday advances. 

You can also encourage your employees to share an #UnexpectedExpenses story at for a chance to win a $500 unexpected expenses savings account. Every day for the month of November one story will be chosen.  

Business is one of the greatest forces for good in our society, for we drive prosperity and growth and we help families pay the bills. This November we can also pass along a bit of wisdom to help those we work with every day succeed. 

For more information or to get your organization involved visit